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Vessel environmental standards

Published 28 September 2023 Continue to enforce environmental standards and regulations among domestic commercial vessels and recreational vessels.


Why is this project important?

Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is responsible for the environmental protection of the NSW waterways from vessel sourced pollution.

Transport for NSW Maritime (Maritime) is committed to ensuring safe and sustainable operation of all commercial and recreational vessels on NSW Waterways.

Our waterways are shared with a diverse range of community users such as boaters, swimmers, fishers, commercial operators etc and pollution in any form can devastate the health and amenity of our waterways.

TfNSW believes that protecting the waterways is a shared responsibility. TfNSW provides education to waterway users about their responsibilities and how to respect the marine environment by disposing of waste correctly.

What are we doing?

We provide Education campaigns to recreational boaters and commercial vessel operators/owners. This includes distributing educational material with details of where and how to report any pollution in our waterways.

We are developing a Sewage Pollution Prevention Scheme (SPPS) for commercial vessels to be implemented after the new Marine Pollution Regulation legislation comes into force during the first quarter of 2024.

What have we achieved?

  • We ran a state-wide education campaign called “Bluewater” for domestic commercial vessels (DCV) in 20-26 February 2023. The aim of the operation was to interact with DCV operators and confirm that vessels safeguards and procedures are in accordance with the state environmental legislation.
  • We continue to hand out education material (garbage stickers, flyers) with information about DVC operators' responsibilities and where to report pollution.
  • We are preparing a commercial vessel industry briefing on how to meet their environmental standards, expected last quarter of 2023.



Local government areas - Statewide

Lead agency

Department of Transport NSW (TfNSW)


We will be working with the Commercial Vessel Advisory Group (CVAG), Commercial Vessel Association (CVA), the Professional Fishers Association (PFA), the Boating Industry Association (BIA) to educate the commercial vessel industry on the SPPS.

More information

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